OSU College of Ag Sciences honors three from Wallowa County

October 19, 2007

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Three people with deep roots in Wallowa County were honored Wednesday, October 17th, as 2007 Diamond Pioneers by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences.

Awardees from Wallowa County are Doug and Janie Tippett, of Joseph, and Arleigh Isley, former Wallowa County judge who now lives in La Grande. They are among the 38 men and women named this year to the college’s Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Achievement Registry during a luncheon hosted by Dean of Agriculture Thayne Dutson.

The registry, now in its 24th year, was created to honor the achievements of those 74 and older in agriculture and related fields and in their communities.. The Wallowa County Stock growers, the Wallowa County Extension staff and the OSU animal sciences department nominated the three for these honors.

Growing up on lower Joseph Creek, Doug Tippett and his family used mules exclusively for packing and ranch work, through World War II. Then tractors were added the mules used for packing salt and camp gear. While attending Washington State University, Tippett was a member of the rodeo team, winning in saddle bronco riding. In 1963, he won the all-around cowboy buckle at the Joseph Amateur Rodeo.

Janie Tippett moved to Wallowa County in 1968. Later she began cooking for deluxe hunting camps on the upper Imnaha River, when Manford Isley ran his pack station at Indian Crossing. She found herself cooking in the most out-of-the-way places.

After military service, Doug Tippett returned to the county to run the Dug Bar Ranch, a cattle operation he later purchased from his father. In 1978, he and Janie were married and they maintained a large cattle operation. They added the production of certified seed potatoes in 1972. They were among the first in the area to introduce the Simental bloodline in their crossbreeding program.

In 1980, they sold the cattle with the permit to the Dug Bar Ranch and concentrated the ranching operation on the home place on Prairie Creek and in the Dry Salmon Creek area.

Doug is a past president of the Wallowa County Stockgrowers and a past Cattleman of the Year and Grassman of the Year. Janie was a 4-H photography club leader. She has been a freelance photographer for several agricultural publications and has written a weekly column for Agri-Times Northwest for more than 20 years.

Raised in Wallowa County, Isley began working in ranch management after high school. He worked as a range technician for the Forest Service before starting college at Eastern Oregon in 1964. After graduating from OSU in range management and ecology, Isley became Lake County Extension agent in 1969, a position he held until 1976. His time in Lakeview was marked by work to convert sagebrush range to irrigated high quality hay production and to improve grazing for wildlife and livestock.

Isley was named county agent and staff chair in Jackson County in 1977 and then moved to Grant County where he served until 1989 when he became OSU Extension agent and staff chair in Wallowa County, a position he held until retiring in 1993. After retirement, he was elected Wallowa County Judge, a position he held until 1997.

Others to be honored as 2007 Diamond Pioneers are Thomas Allen, Jr., Larry Boersma, Kenton Chambers, Robert L. Stebbins, Benno Warkentin, J. Lowell Young and Tom Zinn, all of Corvallis; Don Bennett and Doug Bennett, Echo; Henry Turk, Grants Pass; John Leffel, Hillsboro.

W. L. Andersen, Independence; Cleve and Ellie Dumdi, Junction City; Frank King and Eddie Meeker, Klamath Falls; Louise Grothe and Neil (C.J.) Taylor, Lakeview; Don Denman, Medford; Everett Seagoe, Merlin; James D. Wilson, Monmouth.

Tom Uriu, Ontario; Thomas Bedell and Gene Newcomb, Philomath; William and Donna McCormack, Prineville; Robert Huckfeldt, Redmond; Betty Jo Smith, Shedd; Lawrence Fisher, Sublimity; Art and Marjorie Van Gilder, Wasco; Bill Bennett, Connell, WA; Fred Hagelstein, Vancouver, WA; Ellington Peek, Cottonwood, CA; and William Kittredge, Missoula, MT.

Author: Len Calvert
Source: Loretta Austin